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Pavel Durov criticizes WhatsApp as a ‘surveillance tool.’ Hackers can gain full access to the phone, he says.
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram messenger and the social network VKontakte, described a new vulnerability discovered last week in WhatsApp. On his Telegram channel, Durov wrote that hackers would only need to send a malicious video or make a video call to gain full access to the targeted phone.
Durov noted that this vulnerability is not really new for WhatsApp. Similar problems with the app have been found almost every year since 2017. The fact that a vulnerability is discovered and solved doesn’t mean that there won’t be a new one in the future, he explained.
Every year we learn about a new issue with WhatsApp that puts all the data on user devices at risk. This means that a new vulnerability is almost certain to already exist in that system. Problems like this cannot be random — they’re embedded in backdoors. When one backdoor is removed, another appears.
Durov stressed that anyone who has WhatsApp installed on their phone can have their data accessed. “That’s why I deleted WhatsApp from my devices years ago,” Durov wrote.
He also noted that he doesn’t try to convert people to Telegram. “You can use any messenger you like, but stay away from WhatsApp. It’s been been a surveillance tool for 13 years.”
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